The Holocaust: Holocaust comparisons‘
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Because the Holocaust was such a supremely evil and large-scale genocide, sometimes those who wish to denounce other losses of life refer to them as ‘a Holocaust’, or as equivalent to the Holocaust in terms of evil and loss of life. It is particularly common to compare the many lives lost to Israeli military action in Palestine to the mass-murder of the Jews, but other comparisons are not uncommon either, such as such as anti-abortionists referring to “The Abortion Holocaust”, or animal rights activists describing a “Holocaust on Your Plate’.
These comparisons are to be avoided; however awful the loss of lives are in many parts of the world, and whatever other dreadful things sometimes happen, the Holocaust or, as it is often called by Jews, the Shoah (Hebrew for ‘calamity’ or ‘destruction’) was such a monstrous event that it renders these comparisons not only inaccurate, but actually offensive not only to all Jews – especially to the large proportion of living Jews who lost relatives in the Holocaust – but also to the other groups mentioned above which lost members in the Holocaust (N.B. to be quite clear, SAAS do not regard abortion as a ‘dreadful thing’.)
We do not in general regard comparisons between the Shoah and slavery in the USA and other countries as inappropriate, however, although the methods used were in many respects different. There was an immense loss of life and African culture through slavery, and the full extent is only now being brought to light. The issue of how other genocides is memorialised is an ongoing debate, but that debate should never suggest that Jews and other Holocaust victims are making too much of what happened.
To sum up so far: to many Jews (and members of other groups and ethnicities that suffered in the Holocaust) denial, minimisation, revisionism or false comparisons with regard to it are even more offensive and upsetting than other forms of antisemitism or discrimination.
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